Monday, June 6, 2011

Easy Beaded Beads

I need of a few beaded beads for my leather leaf bracelet to use as a closure bauble. I have seen beautiful peyote stitched beaded beads on Etsy, but it's a technique that I'm having trouble mastering.
On a recent trip to the local craft store I saw some beaded beads and took a good look at their construction.
They were in fact not peyote stitched, or really stitched together in any complicated pattern, but they still looked nice. So here is my attempt to improve upon their simple technique.
The base bead they used was made up of clear lucite oval beads about 20mm in size. Because I don't have lucite beads on hand I chose to use round 20mm wooden beads.

1) I want black beaded beads and my wooden beads happen to be black. If I wanted another color I would carefully paint my beads with a similar color of spray paint to match my seed beads; then let them dry for a day before beading on them.

2) Lace one wooden bead upon a plastic coffee stir straw. You can reuse the stir straw for making more beads if you are careful not to bend it as you work.

3) On 4 feet of 0.15 mm beading thread; form a ladder stitch base 6-7 beads long of size 11 seed beads with a 2-3 inch tail of thread. Here are instructions from Bead and Button Magazine for a ladder base. The example below actually uses larger beads, and a contrasting color thread. This makes it easier for you to see exactly what to do.

4) Form the ladder stitch into a circle around the straw by joining the first and last beads in the ladder stitch. Run your thread into the wooden bead between the straw and the inner bead wall; and out the other side of the wooden bead.
The first image shows the circle formed without the straw, the second shows it around the straw using the proper size beads (11), and matching color beading thread.

5) Push ladder stitch circle down against the wooden bead and pull the thread tight through the other end of the wooden bead. Now form another ladder stitch base 6-7 beads long (use the same amount as in the first ladder stitch circle) and form it into a circle around the straw. Form this new ladder stitch circle against the base of the wooden bead.

6) Now join the base bead circles together by bridging the space over the wood bead with seed beads. Work around the bead until you encircle the wooden bead with parallel bridges. Be sure each seed bead bridge lays against the wooden bead so there are no bumps in the bridges arc. If the seed beads don't lay against the wood bead remove one at a time from the bridge until they do. Remember how many beads you use in your first bridge and repeat that count for every subsequent bridge.

7) Begin filling the space between the first set of bridges with new bridges. These new bridges will have less beads in their count. Be sure they all lay against the wooden bead and again reduce the number of seed beads in each bridge (if needed) so the bridges lay against the wooden bead. . Keep working around the wooden bead add new bridges until you can no longer fit beads around the ladder circles. I removed the coffee stir straw at this point but you can leave it in until your bead is complete.
8) Now skip down from a ladder circle 1-2 beads and begin creating shorter bridges to fill in the gaps between the larger bridges. At the end of a new bridge weave into and up the next adjacent bridge 1-2 seed beads. Repeat and continue filling in the gaps with shorter, new sets of bridges on each trip around the wooden bead. As your gaps fill up your bridges will become increasingly shorter. Always be sure the bridges are short enough to lay against the wooden bead, but long enough to fill in the gaps.

9) Once all the gaps are filled weave the needle thread back toward the tail thread and tie them into a square knot. Clip the end tail to 2 inches long. Weave the tails into the bead work concealing them from view.

Here are some comparison photos of the store bought beaded bead and the one I made. Because I used a similar color base bead and matched beading thread to my base color the gaps in my bead are less evident.
Also the construction on my bead are tighter around the bead holes making the wooden base less visible at the ends. From looking at the end view if the beads (last image) can also see how the bridge lengths shorten and weave back into adjacent bridges,


Maggie said...

Hi Rebecca,

I just wanted to let you know that I featured your tutorial on my site, I linked to this project:

I would like to know if I can link like this to you, including a photo, in the future. Or if you would be willing to allow me to post projects in full on the site - full credit will always be given to you, of course. It would be yet another source of traffic to your blog.

Please let me know, I would love to work with you further.
Maggie Kmiecik

CreativeDebbie said...

Your tutorial is very easy to follow. It's just what I was looking for. Thank you, Thank you for the great photos.

Carolina Nightingale said...

very smart! A good way to not have to use peyote, and I cannot imagine anybody being able to see the difference unless they are really, really far to close, lol,! thanks!